A lot of kids grew up on comic book heroes. Superman, Spiderman, Wonder Woman and the X-men, there was no shortage of heroic figures to choose from. As we got older we realized that heroes didn't only exist in comic books, and one boy from New Jersey wanted to do something special for some real heroes: US soldiers.
Carl Scheckel, with the help of his parents, got in touch with a US Army with a unique idea. He wanted to make a donation to help US soldiers around the world. But what could a 10-year-old boy possibly have to give to soldiers in a battlefield?
Comics. Carl had collected over 3,000 comics over his short life, and he donated each and every one to the army. Master Sgt. Dominck Griego is in charge of the military's base for Military and Family Support, he said he would ensure that the comics got into the hands of the soldiers who need them around the world.
Boredom, according to many soldiers stationed overseas, is one of the biggest challenges a soldier may face. Comics will no doubt help and it must be nice to have something to do that doesn't have anything to do with boot camp.
While Carl donated his comics out of the goodness of his heart, the US military didn't want the kind gesture to go unnoticed. Jennifer Myers fromthe Department of Veterans Affairs set up a trip for Carl and his family to visit the Joint Base Mcguire-Dix-Lakehurst compound.
Carl wrote about the experience on his blog, and was clearly overjoyed at the chance to see his heroes in the flesh.
"When I arrived they had a parking space for me with a sign that said 'Master Carl," he gushed on his blog Carls Comix.
"My new friends Master Sgt Griego met my dad and me in the parking lot. I found out they had a really near and fun tour for us."
Carl got to see the army like few people who aren't enlisted actually get to. He sat in the cockpit of helicopters and army planes, he even got to open and close the tracks. He even suited up for battle!
The trip had some excitement that wasn't planned too. After a few minutes of touring an unexpected fire alarm went off, forcing the evacuation of the building Carl was touring. While everyone was outside Commander Rayna Lowery decided to do one more thing for Carl.
"Commander Lowery said she had a medal for me. I was so surprised when she handed me her coin of excellence. Everyone who was outside applauded for me...I could barely stand."
It may have all started with a comic book, but his kind act of generosity turned Carl into every bit the hero that lives in those pages.